Former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir on Tuesday urged Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to retain skipper Safraz Ahmed for all three formats and appoint Babar Azam as his deputy.

Qadir, who appeared in 67 Tests and 104 ODIs between 1977 and 1993, said though Pakistan failed to make a place in the semifinals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the captain must not be held responsible for the failure. “Sarfraz is a match-winning captain and has shown his fighting spirit several times. I think he should continue leading in all the three formats,” he said.

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However, the former leg-spin wizard was of the view that Babar should be assigned vice-captain of the national side. “Sarfraz may take decision to retire after two to three years and till that time Babar will be able to handle the pressure of captaincy.”

Qadir, who was the top performer in three test matches against England in 1987, taking 30 wickets for 437 runs, said after Sarfraz, Babar would be the best option for PCB to lead the team. “I believe he (Babar) has to learn a lot before leading the national side. It is time for his grooming and that can be better done by making him Sarfraz’s deputy,” he added.

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He said that although Babar had served as skipper under-19 team and knew how to take decisions at the field, the pressure of captaincy at the senior level was bit different. “Hence, it will be premature to hand him over the reins of team’s captaincy,” he remarked.

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